Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic’s interest in taking some extra time off has resulted in the UFC placing a rematch of Cain Velasquez-Fabricio Werdum onto the Dec. 30 UFC 207 card.
The organization announced Thursday that top-ranked heavyweight Velasquez, who appeared to have a title shot clinched when he defeated Travis Browne at UFC 200 in July, will instead again meet Brazil’s Orange County trained Werdum.
Last year, Werdum took advantage of Velasquez’s conditioning problems in the high altitude of Mexico City and claimed the heavyweight title by third-round submission.
After losing his belt to Miocic earlier this year, Werdum rallied with a triumph over Browne on the undercard of Miocic’s win over Alistair Overeem in Cleveland in September.
Before his first title defense, Miocic (16-2) said he was hopeful the UFC would give him the rest of the year off after his third fight of the year.
UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be headlined by Ronda Rousey’s return after a 13-month absence to fight women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, and mixed martial arts reporter Ariel Helwani wrote Thursday that a men’s bantamweight title fight between San Diego’s champion Dominick Cruz and contender Cody Garbrandt could also land on the card.